The delta variant, a highly transmissible mutation of the coronavirus first identified in India, became dominant in South Africa’s commercially important Gauteng province in June, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said.
Samples analysed showed that 53% of coronavirus infections this month in Gauteng, where Johannesburg is located, were due to the delta variant and 37% were due to the beta variant, first identified in South Africa, the NICD said in a statement on Tuesday. In May, 64% of Gauteng’s cases were due to the Beta variant. Nationally, in June 45% of samples were of the delta variant and 39% of the beta mutation.
Gauteng is bearing the brunt of South Africa’s third wave of infections with about two-thirds of daily confirmed cases coming from the province.